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Change Your Tune through the Understanding of Soul!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, February 9th, 2015

Change Your Tune through the Understanding of Soul!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Lesson:

Soul

February 9—15, 2015

By Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. Glen Ellyn, Illinois (Bartlett)
craig.ghislincs@icloud.com / (630) 830-8683

Sometimes we hear people referring to “the soundtrack of your life.” The purpose of a movie soundtrack is to enhance or magnify the action and emotions that go with particular scenes. In addition to the overall tenor of a film, there are often recurring themes. Any “Star Wars” fan recognizes trouble when they hear the Darth Vader music. Similarly, the first two notes of the “Jaws” theme are almost universally recognized as a harbinger of danger. How would the soundtrack of your life sound? Would it be in minor keys with plaintive strings, or a powerful heavy metal jam, a grand symphony, Jazz, Country, Pop, or a sweet tune on a ukulele?

In the Golden Text, the psalmist’s song magnifies God rather than the problems facing him. Not all of the psalms start out hopeful. Some are downright depressing, but somehow they work their way back to glorifying God even in the midst of a challenge.

In our lives undesirable themes often recur. These tunes may magnify false character traits, or repetitive bouts with sin, sickness, and death replaying like an unwanted tune in our heads. But we always have the opportunity to change those tunes through the understanding of Soul.

The psalmist in the Responsive Reading makes it his goal to continually praise God. He doesn’t want to fill his head or his mouth with depressing, angry, complaining, or doubting words. Praise for God and recognition of His goodness is the only subject matter he’s interested in, and the only tune he ever wants to sing.

He expects that when others hear his song, they will accept it and join with him. Haven’t we all felt the boost that comes when an inspired individual enters a situation? It lifts everyone up. The psalmist bases his praise on a proven record of God’s care, and he urges others to “taste and see”—to try it for themselves. He promises that those who look to God will have everything they legitimately require for success.

God is always ready to help no matter what we might be facing. Even those who are feeling dejected, and whose hearts are broken, can be redeemed from their plight, and nobody is ever left out.

Section 1: Exchange Bondage for Freedom
As the psalmist often mentions, so the book of Leviticus also recounts the unbreakable relationship between God and His people (B1). God brought the Children of Israel out of bondage so they could walk freely. Our right to be holy comes directly from God (B2).

There are all sorts of “yokes” that bind us. And we can replace those chains of mortal belief like those unwanted tunes by exchanging them for songs of praise (B3). When we’re praising God, we’re lifted out of the material sense of things because our hearts are attuned to God (B4).

The oppressive strains of mortal belief are in chronic flux, but heavenly melodies signal the permanent harmony of Soul (S1). Understanding God as Soul transforms our view of ourselves from an earthbound mortal to the free image of God. Earthbound views not only claim to hold us, they demand that we serve and pay tribute to them. But, we’re never obligated to material sense. We are tributary to God alone (S2). And our relationship to God brings freedom not bondage. Our textbook tells us, “God’s being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss.” The only way to gain this understanding of Soul is through spiritual sense.

Common usage refers to soul as a human identity dwelling in a body. But in Science, Soul is God. There is only one Soul, and Soul is never confined in matter (S3, S4). The belief that the body has life and sensation is one of those false tunes going on in mortal belief. Man as the image of Soul replaces that tune (S5).

To human sense, it seems that the ongoing challenges of experience are “the hard facts of life.” But they’re not facts at all. Since God is the only Mind, man can only know what God knows, and God only knows what’s good. Everything else is unreal. God never made it. When we start listening to that harmonious song using our spiritual sense, the dark pictures of material sense dissolve and the true picture comes through (S6). Then we realize that the song doesn’t originate with us. God is the only singer and we are His song.

Section 2: From Despair to Hope
Have you ever felt like the rug was pulled out from you? That all the support you’d planned on was taken away? If so, you might be tempted to play those sad songs of good things lost. Those melancholy tunes of despair can be replaced with a hymn of hope (B5). Human plans and relationships don’t always work out the way we’d like them to. But God never lets us down. God is the fountain of all blessings. All God has is ours and all we have is from Him (B6). Jeremiah tells us that God is as happy to help us as we are to be helped. Eighteenth Century theologian John Gill writes of God’s relationship to mankind, “He does them good, and with the utmost joy and pleasure; he delights in showing mercy to them, beautifies them with salvation, and takes pleasure in their prosperity” (B8). That prosperity isn’t found in human circumstances, but in our oneness with God. As John Calvin notes, “whatever we seek as to the things of the world can yield us no good, except God be reconciled to us.”

This brings us to the story of Ruth (B9). Ruth had left her homeland and lost her husband. In those days this could have been a catastrophic event. Orpah, her sister-in-law in the same situation, went back to her homeland and as the story points out, “back to her gods.” However, Ruth held close to Naomi. She’d left everything behind, and vowed devotion to her mother-in-law and to the God of Israel. The story indicates that she wasn’t looking to Naomi for help, but relying on God to guide and sustain her. But she wasn’t just sitting around waiting for something to happen. She was industrious and set out to work.

Her devotion to God wasn’t lost on Boaz in whose field she worked. Boaz could have had her removed since, according to the Hebrews, the Moabites weren’t fit to enter the “congregation of the Lord.” Ruth all but admitted this when she prostrated herself in his presence. Instead of rejecting her, he acknowledged her by using the metaphor of a young fledgling rushing under the mother’s wing to seek protection from a bird of prey.

Ruth’s story illustrates that, “In divine Science, man is sustained by God… (S8). If we’re tempted to sing a song of despair, we can change that to hope, knowing that “Soul has infinite resources” ready to bless us (S9). Our textbook explains that genuine philanthropy is fueled by our spiritually familial relationship with each other. These brotherly acts of love bless everyone (S10).

It’s important that we don’t let the human picture dictate our outlook. Just because things don’t look good at the moment doesn’t in the least indicate that God is unwilling or unable to heal and save us (S11). Our textbook says that the right understanding of God restores harmony. We need to change that tune of discord. Looking at things from the standpoint of the allness of God allows us to see things as they really are.

Ruth didn’t cry on Naomi’s shoulder. She demonstrated all the qualities mentioned in the textbook as “constant prayers,”—namely: “self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection” (S12). And as we’ll see in the next section, these qualities brought her infinite blessings.

Section 3: Sensuality Displaced by Enduring Qualities of Soul
Ruth kept a prayerful song in her heart enabling her to crowd out thoughts of fear and loss. Looking to God for protection and guidance, she was led to Boaz who took her as his wife (B11). In Isaiah there’s a lovely description of God caring for us as a bridegroom for his bride (B10). The “robe of righteousness” isn’t just a blanket. It symbolizes a protective garment as well as ornamentation. The bridegroom actually adorns himself as a priest; and the bride, after being received by the husband, “shines with amazing luster.”

The psalmist reminds us again to sing praises to God with the confident promise that God places the “solitary in families” (B12). And Isaiah boldly declares that God is like a husband to His people—nobody is left out (B13, B14). This is both a promise and a reminder. In a nod to Valentine’s Day, this section includes instruction about the effect of Soul on our relationships.

In modern times, the soundtrack for relationships is rife with sensuality, decadence, jealousy, objectification, and lust. Those aren’t the songs we want for a lasting harmonious union. Mrs. Eddy’s definitions of “Bride” and “Bridegroom” (S13) have a radically different take on things. Rather than promoting changeable cultural trends, she emphasizes the soulful qualities that stand the test of time and eternity: purity, innocence, and understanding. She goes on to describe the benefit of individual qualities that support the needs of our partners. While the more dominant feminine qualities help to elevate and purify the masculine, so the masculine qualities strengthen the feminine. Masculine and feminine qualities aren’t mutually exclusive. “Both sexes,” Mrs. Eddy writes, “should be loving, pure, tender, and strong” (S14).

Some people have the mistaken view of using marriage for selfish reasons, while others feel that marriage is totally outdated and a hindrance to our natural proclivities. Mrs. Eddy clearly felt otherwise. She says true happiness is found in unselfishness, nobility, and purity and that following a moral standard actually frees us (S15). Replacing the mortal tune with the songs of Soul has the effect of lifting everything we do to a higher level. We also want to be sure that we’re on the same wavelength as our partner. If each one is listening to the higher tones of Soul, the relationship has a strong foundation, resulting in a strong bond. Elevating our understanding of marriage benefits both partners, and improves society in general (S16).

Our textbook uses the analogy of the ill-attuned ear mistaking discord for concord. This is right in line with our theme of keeping our tunes holy, thus bringing harmony to our experience.

Section 4: From Discord to Harmony
As before, the psalmist reminds us to keep our song of holy praise going continuously from “day to day” (B15). Gratitude for God should be the first thing we think about in the morning and the last thing at night. But we all know that sometimes, the blaring racket of sickness and sin tries to overtake our peace.

Even when our hearts are bowed down, sunken with the weight of sorrow the psalmist enjoins us to change our tune. Theologian Albert Barnes writes that being “disquieted” (B16) meant literally to “growl like a bear.” He said David saw, “There was a brighter side, and he ought to turn to that, and take a more cheerful view of the matter. He had allowed his mind to rest on the dark side, to look at the discouraging things in his condition. He now felt that this was… wrong: that it was proper for a man like him to seek for comfort in brighter views.” In other words, he should quit looking on the dark side of things and quit being transfixed by the lie. We always have the choice to be cheerful—it’s also our duty as children of God. If God is present, there’s never anything to be depressed about.

Christ Jesus certainly never let the doleful drones of mortal belief dampen his Soul-centered view. When approached by a leper (B17) Jesus must have been more impressed with the glorious song in his heart than the picture of illness before him. The leper’s condition was considered to be loathsome, contagious, and incurable. Many would characterize sin the same way. The leper faced a dire prognosis and was shut out from society and all he held dear. He must have been sorely tempted with a dirge of despair. But he sought a better way. When Ruth encountered Boaz, she fell to the ground in humility. The leper approached Jesus in a similar way, and Jesus responded instantly with the healing touch of Love.

The material senses completely misinterpret reality. They can’t comprehend Soul at all, and Soul has nothing to do with imperfect mortal pictures (S17). It seems to material sense that soul is infused into matter and animates it, but that view is an illusion. Soul is never in matter. Attuned only to the reality of Soul, Christ Jesus demonstrated the healing effect of Truth casting out both sin and sickness (S18). Material conditions are mortal beliefs that vanish in the presence of holiness. The teachings of Christian Science give us the understanding of Soul that heals sin, sickness, and death “as no other system can” (S20).

Section 5: Breaking the Cycle of Heredity with Our Spiritual Heritage
Isaiah tells us that God’s servant doesn’t appoint himself. God chooses His servant, upholds him, and endows him with divine authority through the Spirit that rests upon him. God’s servant is always singing a new song of inspiration and praise. Barnes notes that the “new song” isn’t just a liturgical repetition of past blessings. Nor is it a naïve type of happiness that is put on for show, or used to mask hidden fears. It’s brand new each day—a song “hitherto unsung” in genuine recognition of omnipotent good (B18). Christ Jesus wasn’t merely a guy with a positive outlook. The light of hope Jesus brought was and is a direct expression of God (B19). This light is able to deliver the whole world from darkness because it carries with it the full weight of divine authority.

The healing of the man born blind (B20) is symbolic as well as literal. The disciples ask Jesus, “Who sinned—the man or his parents that he was born blind?” Isn’t that similar to the question we all ask when we say, “How did I become a mortal? Did I think it? Or is it my parent’s fault?” Jesus says our only purpose is for the works of God to be manifest in us. Jesus shows utter contempt for the belief of life in matter. He tells the man to wash away the mud of material thinking and enjoy the clear view of spiritual being. Just as the light pierces the darkest night, the Christ pierces all gloom enabling us to see the truth. [See P.S. #1 for a CC insight.]

The disciple’s question in a more literal sense was connected to the belief prevalent at the time in the transmigration of souls. Many believed that afflictions were the product of sins committed in a previous life or punishment for sins of the parents. It was in many respects equivalent to today’s belief of genetics and heredity. Jesus’ healing response rejected any belief of heredity because he knew that man is the offspring of Spirit (S22). Are we obligated to sing a song of heredity like an unwelcomed tune that we can’t get out of our heads? No. “Heredity is not a law” (S23). Heredity is only a mental suggestion and the light of Christ burns right through it (S24). Rather than repeating a song of inherited disease, we can break the cycle by singing a “new song” of man’s eternal relationship with his Maker. Every faculty and capacity we have comes directly from God and is incapable of being disturbed or destroyed. God sees, and as His reflection, so must we (S25). The facts of Soul turn the “dark visions of material sense into harmony and immortality” (S26). We can break free of the endless loop of heredity. We can change the tape, and bring the new song—full of the light of Christ—into our hearts.

Section 6: Replacing the Gloom of Death with the Joy of Life
Perhaps the most unwanted song in material thinking is the seemingly unavoidable requiem of life in matter that leads to death. It seems that this song says the end is coming and there’s nothing we can do about it. Such a claim may have us singing a lament, but the true understanding of the immortality of Soul enables us to sing a joyful song of gratitude instead. [The recent, based-on-true-events movie “Unbroken”, illustrates a transformational Christian healing of the debilitating, mental “melody” known as PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). See P.S. #2 for a link to an uplifting, Tony Lobl post on “the rest of the story”.]

We should never agree to either sing or listen to any woeful composition of death [or trauma]. God never puts us on a path of dissolution. The path of life is filled with joy and hope (B21). Like a recurring theme in music, the psalmist regularly reminded the Children of Israel how God delivered them from the Egyptians. We too, can compose our song of Life on the heavenly strains of previous demonstration. (B22). We can use what we know of Soul to replace despair with trust, confidence, and security (B23).

Material so-called pleasures, no matter how secure they seem to be, are destined to cease. Our true confidence and happiness are in the eternal pleasures of Soul. Loss, disappointment, bereavement, sickness, sin, and death are unknown in the realm of Soul. Soul includes eternal progress, unadulterated perfection, and unlimited happiness.

Letting go of the false belief that soul is in the body, we can begin to understand what Life really is. If we live in Life, we live in God. We don’t have a “soul” that needs redemption. Understanding that we actually live in Soul is our redemption (S27). That heavenly state is sinless, harmonious, beautiful, good, perfect; and as we understand this through a recognition of the Christly consciousness that knows only what God knows, we will find it to be the only condition we have ever been in (S28). Even though we may seem to be surrounded by a sea of fear, darkness and despair, the Christ will guide us out of material sense into the glorious reality of Soul (S29).

So what kind of tunes are we accepting in our soundtrack? Truth compels us to exchange themes of bondage, despair, sensuality, sickness, sin, and death with the delightful melodies of Soul filled with freedom, hope, pure joy, health, and everlasting life (S30). That’s a soundtrack worth hearing, and singing along with.


[P.S. #1 Cobbey Crisler’s insight on washing off any dust-man heredity, John 9:1-7 (B20)
John 9:2. “who did sin? (A) This fellow over here? Or (B) his parents?”
John 9:3. Jesus had that paper before him as in the examination room on that point many times before. “He says, (C), none of the above… [Or as Warren proposes (D) DNA, DNA DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA) the molecule that supposedly carries encoded genetic instructions, Does Not Apply!] Neither hath this man sinned or his parents.” What’s that saying about origin? Where is that man? His roots are not in parents of in some reincarnated experience…”
Notice what he does in John 9:6 and what it may remind you of. “He spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle.” That reminds you of man being made of the dust in the Second Chapter of Genesis Verse 6 and 7, doesn’t it? Would Jesus ever mock God if he considered that was the real way that creation occurred? Yet, it almost looks like a mockery of that. He’s taking on that concept of the man of dust. He’s spitting on that ground, into the dust, making clay of it, and slapping it on the eyes of the blind man.
John 9:7, The man goes to the pool of Siloam. He can’t see his way there. He’s got mud all over his face. He doesn’t go seeing. He comes seeing.” He comes only after he has washed off that symbolic making or formation of man out of the dust.
In a way, it might even give us a greater hint on what the true meaning of baptism is, the immersion in Spirit, nativity, and washing off every trace of the dust man.” The Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple, p. 52-53]


[P.S. #2 on the modern malady known as PTSD: This unwanted, mental “melody” Does Not Apply to God’s untouched, image-and-likeness man, who does not need to obsessively replay any mentally “graven image” of traumatic conditions. Tony Lobl has a great post called "The healing Angelina left on the cutting room floor". The article explains that Louis Zamperini, the main character of the based-on-true-events movie “Unbroken”, experienced a transformational Christian healing of debilitating PTSD, but that his healing and his Christian faith were left out of the movie. In the article, Tony explains more about Christian Healing generally and Christian Science and Mary Baker Eddy specifically.

Please click and read the article at this link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/tonylobl/the-healing-at-the-heart-of-louis-zamperinis-stor-8p0b#.osNLPWJOAY

Clicking the link will give Tony’s post and future COP articles a big boost that will help them show up more prominently on the Internet. The more readers he gets, the more prominently his articles are displayed on Buzzfeed, a major Internet news distributor. We hope that future mentions in the PS portion of CedarS Mets can be of help to the COPs whenever they need to get information out.]


[Bracketed italics have been added (above & below) by CedarS Director, Warren Huff, who’s very grateful for good support already received with more needed. Now that enrollments and financial aid applications are rolling in daily, it is apparent that getting many to camp will depend on "Love's Provision" of campership assistance. Won't you be an angel who gives a life-altaring and life-altering experience at CedarS?]


[The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/ for more about how you can provide even monthly support online. Or you can always call the Huffs at 636-394-6162 get information or discuss privately how to transfer securities or other assets to help support and perpetuate CedarS work.]

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 636-394-6162
or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps, Inc.
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

[LETTING 3 SPECIAL NEEDS BE KNOWN –
Significant funding is still needed for these special opportunities:
1. Now that CedarS video show circuit is in full swing, it is apparent that getting many to camp will depend on "Love's Provision" of campership assistance. Could you be one of the angels who gives towards camperships and the life-altaring and life-altering experiences they provide at CedarS?]

2. Over 100 needed items are featured on CedarS Giving Tree that could fit the budget of every grateful Met-recipient and camper. You can choose for yourself $1-and-up ways to give to support CedarS needs. Click here to see 2 young alumni tell their reasons to give.

3. “Adopt the Herd” Matching Opportunity! Generous donors, aware of the ongoing need to care for CedarS herd, will match donations for our horse program! (~$21k needed to reach $50k goal)]


[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ ]

[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free – by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Manfred and Jeanette; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil. A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has been contributed in the past. Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages. This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 14-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "Mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and in a variety of useful formats as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-26) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-32). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]

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